Upgrading to Exchange 2013

  • Last updated on: 2016-02-25
  • Authored by: Mawutor Amesawu

To have an Exchange Upgrade performed, you must contact the Cloud Office Internal Migrations team and work with them via ticket. After you create the ticket, the Migrations team provides you with a migration plan to upgrade your Exchange environment.

This article provides information about the upgrade from your current Exchange environment to Exchange 2013. Follow the required steps explained in this article to successfully migrate to Exchange 2013.

Before migration: explore changes

We do not anticipate any issues with the migration; however, if you have any mission critical data, we highly recommend that you back up that data prior to the migration. You can back up your data by performing a PST export using Outlook. It is important to note that any corrupt data will not move.


It is important to set up your Autodiscover DNS record for Exchange 2013. Features such as Automatic Outlook Configuration, Free/Busy Time, Out of Office, and Public Folders will function only if this record is in place.

Complete instructions for setting up your Autodiscover record are located here: Set up DNS records for Cloud Office email and Skype for Business

Outlook Web Access

The Outlook Web Access (OWA) tool is available via two links:

Public Folders

Exchange 2013 offers public folders on a hosted environment. Public folders on Exchange 2013 have the following limitations:

  • 25 folders with a maximum size of 250MB per folder. This includes the root folder.

  • Exchange 2013 admins must use the Control Panel to manage public folders.

  • Public folder administration (such as create, edit, and move) is disabled in Outlook for Exchange 2013 customers.

  • User permissions (such as granting read/edit/delete access) is not available.

    Note: For a complete list of public folder limitations, please review the migration plan provided by the Migrations team.

Spam filtering

Spam handling in Exchange 2013 is the same as in Exchange 2010; this is different from spam handling in Exchange 2007.

Any spam messages that are sent to a user’s Exchange mailbox will be delivered to the junk/spam folder of the email client.

The domain quarantine will receive spam messages for other Exchange addresses such as contacts, distribution lists, public folders, and resources. You can set the user’s spam to be delivered to the domain quarantine, but only an admin will be able to access this quarantine manager.

Data handling

Users may see an increase in the mailbox size due to the way Exchange 2013 handles data. The increase in mailbox size is due to the inclusion of all item properties into quota calculations such as the Recover Deleted Items folder.

After migration: configure mail clients and mobile devices

Note: Outlook 2003 and Entourage 2004 are not supported with Exchange 2013. Users on Outlook 2007 must be running Service Pack 3.


After your migration is complete, an alert will appear indicating that Autodiscover is requesting to reconfigure your email profile. Check Always Do This Option and select Allow. The Exchange 2013 mailbox will then begin to re-sync.

Manual configurations

We highly recommend using Autodiscover to configure users. If a manual configuration is needed, visit the following link for our set up guides: Configure email clients and mobile devices for email hosted on Exchange.

Rackspace Auto Configuration Tool (Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013)

Your users can download the Rackspace Auto Configuration Tool to make setup very easy. The tool only requires the user’s email address and password to automatically configure Outlook for Rackspace Exchange.

Download the Rackspace Auto Configuration Tool from ftp://connect.emailsrvr.com/OutlookProfileConfigTool.exe.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to change my MX records?

In most cases, you do not need to change your MX records since they should already be pointed to our environment. Set up DNS records for Cloud Office email and Skype for Business explains how to find MX record details.

Could we migrate a portion of our mailboxes?

This type of migration requires all users to migrate at once. This is due to our environment allowing the domain to reside in one exchange environment.

If Autodiscover is not set up, and I set it up now, will my users receive a prompt?

The reconfiguration prompt will occur in the following situations:

  • The user is using Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013
  • The user set up their profile using Autodiscover
  • The Autodiscover CNAME points to autodiscover.emailsrvr.com and the profile was configured using Autodiscover

Is there any downtime?

There is no downtime during the migration. Mail will be delivered without interruption. Users will still be able to send/receive normally until their mailbox has completed migrating.

How long does the migration take?

Many factors affect the speed of the migration, so it is difficult to accurately predict the migration time.

Will I need to reconfigure my mobile devices?

Yes, all mobile devices will need to be reconfigured. This works differently for different devices:

  • For all ActiveSync devices, you can simply update the existing entries or remove the account and re-add.
  • Blackberry devices configured as BES must be wiped to ensure proper re-activation on the new Exchange platform. We recommend backing up any data prior to wiping.
  • For Blackberry devices with software version 10.0 and above using ActiveSync, no wipe is necessary.

Will I have access to my Control Panel during the migration?

You will still be able to access your admin control panel, but it is important that no changes are made to your domain. If changes are made during the migration, it will cause issues.

Continue the conversation in the Rackspace Community.